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Old 03-29-2016, 06:11 PM
 
11 posts, read 6,254 times
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At about 9 months in to early retirement, I thought that I had made the transition and was feeling pretty good about myself and our situation, and then a couple things happened, and it seems that it is steadily getting worse. I worked in a job that sucked up all my time (my fault), so I didn't develop many friendships. I knew a lot of people, but not many real friends. I have an anxiety problem that's bothered me for years, and was taking medication for it over a couple of different time frames, lasting a couple years each. I discovered that after the first time coming off medication that I wanted to stay medicated, so was taking medication up until my retirement. I thought retirement would take the stress away, which it did, but the anxiety stayed. Like I said, a couple things happened that set me back, and soon discovered that I would get angry very easily. It has definitely affected my relationship with my wife, she acknowledges that she has her own set of issues, and we are both trying to work this out. She is a real trooper. My anxiety is keeping me from reaching out to people, but I am not real sure that I want to anyway, I do have a couple of good friends, so that helps keep me grounded. I have hobbies, and generally stay as busy as I want, I enjoy being home, but I think my problem is that anxiety is keeping me from relaxing and truly enjoying myself and my wife.
I don't know that I have a question, it is just too personal to discuss with my buddies. Somebody else must have gone thru this before, how long did it take for you, and how did you manage to finally relax?
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Old 03-29-2016, 08:05 PM
 
5,397 posts, read 6,540,598 times
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Sorry to hear you are having hard adjustments. It is different to go from a working situation to retired. I hit that myself and a year later don't know if I am at steady state.


Don't know if I can help because if it is true anxiety it is usually something a doctor addresses but:


when I am agitated, frustrated, upset, anything of that ilk; I find that action works me back to a steady calmer state. I take a walk, do a dreaded chore, etc anything I have to put physical effort into.


Good luck and wish you well.
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Old 03-29-2016, 08:28 PM
 
Location: Prescott AZ
6,125 posts, read 9,088,474 times
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Hope you can find some peace. I know that I had trouble at first because of the lack of routine. I had a very structured life while working, knew where to be when, and I enjoyed most of it, for the most part. Suddenly I retired and there was no routine and every day was just like another. I did miss my colleagues at work and I did miss the routines alot. I guess lack of structure can bring on anxiety.

This takes time to resolve and you probably just need more time. There are days when I wake up and think I need to get dressed for work. But now I can easily sit around and enjoy my coffee and the news in the AM. Hopefully you will get to that point soon. Peace to you.
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Old 03-29-2016, 08:49 PM
Status: "I am Blessed." (set 9 days ago)
 
Location: Spurs country. "Go, Spurs, Go!"
3,417 posts, read 3,972,097 times
Reputation: 8865
Since you realize you have an anxiety issue, PLEASE try, try, try NOT to take it out on your wife. Pep talks, self-talks, prayers, therapy, whatever it takes, do not take it out on your wife. You will ruin your relationship, your marriage, and your life if your marriage breaks up over this.

Please get help in some way, by counseling, meds, see your doctor, a therapist, a church priest/pastor, anything to get this under control. You already know how this affects you, head it off before it takes hold of your life.

You should enjoy your retirement. This is everyone's wish for you. You earned it, you deserve it. This is a new season in your life, perhaps one of the 7(?) most stress causing events one can experience, with marriage, the birth of a child, divorce, being a few of the others. So it is not without it's issues.

Wishing you all the best as you go forward into another adventure in your personal journey.
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Old 03-29-2016, 09:20 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
21,899 posts, read 14,397,959 times
Reputation: 30791
People I know point to yoga as a good calmer for anxiety. You might take elder yoga classes, perhaps?

And, if you get some good hard exercise, I know from experience that you will feel less anxious in general.

I have also found that consuming less caffeine helps with anxious feelings. Caffeine just enhances any anxiety you might be having.
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Old 03-29-2016, 10:10 PM
 
6,625 posts, read 3,754,399 times
Reputation: 13703
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPG2014 View Post
At about 9 months in to early retirement, I thought that I had made the transition and was feeling pretty good about myself and our situation, and then a couple things happened, and it seems that it is steadily getting worse. I worked in a job that sucked up all my time (my fault), so I didn't develop many friendships. I knew a lot of people, but not many real friends. I have an anxiety problem that's bothered me for years, and was taking medication for it over a couple of different time frames, lasting a couple years each. I discovered that after the first time coming off medication that I wanted to stay medicated, so was taking medication up until my retirement. I thought retirement would take the stress away, which it did, but the anxiety stayed. Like I said, a couple things happened that set me back, and soon discovered that I would get angry very easily. It has definitely affected my relationship with my wife, she acknowledges that she has her own set of issues, and we are both trying to work this out. She is a real trooper. My anxiety is keeping me from reaching out to people, but I am not real sure that I want to anyway, I do have a couple of good friends, so that helps keep me grounded. I have hobbies, and generally stay as busy as I want, I enjoy being home, but I think my problem is that anxiety is keeping me from relaxing and truly enjoying myself and my wife.
I don't know that I have a question, it is just too personal to discuss with my buddies. Somebody else must have gone thru this before, how long did it take for you, and how did you manage to finally relax?
I went through a rough period after retirement. It took me a good two years, although I'd have periods of sadness followed by happy periods, back to sadness and a sense of loss, then to contentedness. Now it's two years later, and I'm going through a move, so am having trouble with that transition. Apparently I don't take change well.

Part of my problem was that I'd worked all my adult life, and for a few years in my teens, as well. My identity was wrapped up in work. Without that, I felt lost, not myself. I have interests. I have a few friends (one close friend; a couple of friends but not super close, and a few acquaintances). IT WAS HELPFUL TO SPEND TIME WITH THEM, ALTHOUGH I NEVER TALKED ABOUT TRANSITION ISSUES. We would go to the movies, meet for lunch, and we got together for a Christmas lunch at a restaurant. I talked on the phone with my close friend.

This move will, I hope, help me settle in to retirement, since it will further my goal of my hobbies and being closer to family.

I also worked temp jobs the last couple of years. That helped keep me in the game, plus a little extra money.

Be grateful for what you have. You have a spouse, so that's helpful. You have some friends and acquaintances, so that's good. Be proactive and try to arrange a social thing with them...whatever you all like to do. (What do men do together? Sports bar for a big game? Golf? Starbucks for coffee?)

Give it some time, is what I'd say. The transition is difficult for some of us. It WILL gradually get better. If that's what's causing the anxiety. I don't know much about that, so it might be a biological thing, the anxiety.

The thing is to focus on the new you. Picture it. Visualize it. Then make it happen. (I need to do the same!)

Maybe once you actually see the new you in your mind, that will relieve some of the anxiety. Just know that it does take time for some of us (so I've been told and have experienced). For others, they were ready and had no trouble at all, which I can't relate to. Be glad you have a spouse, though. Imagine being all alone and going through this transition. You have to make an effort just to have someone to talk to. It's challenging when you are no longer in the work force.
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Old 03-29-2016, 11:19 PM
 
Location: VT; previously MD & NJ
2,206 posts, read 1,350,381 times
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Anxiety does not always come from stress. This is a medical problem. See a doctor, and possibly a therapist. If meds helped you in the past, discuss this with a doctor. Your anxiety may have nothing to do with retiring.
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Old 03-30-2016, 02:31 AM
 
Location: Backwoods of Maine
7,116 posts, read 8,160,025 times
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Retirement is a major life event, and can definitely cause some anxiety. In this sense, what you are feeling may be normal. I personally feel that much of the anxiety is due to financial pressure, whether real or imagined. We "workaholics" are used to hitting it hard to keep the money coming in, and not going to work can cause near-panic; where's the money going to come from???

I retired in December 2012, and almost drove my wife up the wall. She must have been happy to see me leave for Maine the following spring, with her brother and one of our sons-in-law, to build us a ranch house on some land we'd recently purchased. The work and the fresh air did me a lot of good, and the finished home alleviated most of my financial angst. I let her handle the money, anyway!

It can be a difficult transition. Find a project that requires your total concentration. Gradually, you should get over it. But don't become addicted to the meds!
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Old 03-30-2016, 06:12 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,622 posts, read 39,986,663 times
Reputation: 23772
Read at leisure or only points necessary... (I'm waiting for a flight in Asia, long hours of free time to 'de-stress')

BTDT caring for a very angry and medicated disabled parent for over 30 yrs. so.... I got stuck with some inherited and learned behaviors that are not NICE . As a very 'capable' person, I can dismantle a relationship a@ 'Lightspeed'

Couple hints from my school of "hard knocks": (still learning)
1) doctors can be a necessary friend, and ALWAYS must be your access to drugs / withdrawal of same. But... They have little TIME for you. Your spouse and YOU will be best "mirror" on your life and recovery.

2). Barring a real serious medical condition, YOU have control over your response to anger and anxiety. There are excellent community based anger and support workshops. Find one soon. If it doesn't fit, find another one! (Don't give up... Some of us will need this once, some for life. That is OK, do what is necessary, your spouse will embrace your efforts.) One source I have found to be excellent and cheap is Seventh Day Adventist medical and churches. They add the all important diet and health component. (I am not SDA, but am pleased with their research and commitment to YOU). They have been MOST helpful in my 20 yr quest. i only had to use them once, but would gladly return for a refresher (should my spouse or friends suggest it to be necessary or helpful).

3) Pursue to make peace with others DAILY. Making peace with yourself may take longer

4). Make good choices for you. I recently had a conversation wth a very well known counsellor. He was commenting on how much anger and anxiety he was getting from media saturation. (Election?).. He purposely made the choice to limit his media inputs. (I got rid of my TV in 1968, I have found MANY better things to do)

5). Walk a lot, walk some more (Mall will do in winter). I swim laps whenever I can. One time when traveling and 'snowed-in' the Black Hills in May... i swam 240 laps non-stop, about 4 hrs. I could have gone another 8hrs to work out a few month's stress, it did my body and mind good. Do what works for you, but DO IT regularly. Driving long distances works for me too. I love to travel, and can go 1200 miles between fuel stops... Head out and GO. (For days if necessary)

6). Get yourself some ME / volunteer time. Helping others is great therapy, especially when you realize how fortunate you are to not have their problems too! A). I recently discovered "Men's Sheds" in AU and NZ. i will be creating some in USA... They are places to meet, volunteer, tinker, and teach / learn, a key component is men's health education and support. As a farm kid... I have an adage... "Every man needs a shed / barn / shop to THINK' (or to sleep / nap ). I have 4... It is not enough, so I will start sharing mine with others. (Some are over 5,000 sf, so adequate room for me to share a little space).

7). Consider gaining some 'space' from spouse. After (and before) my age 49 retirement we spent many extended times apart (I worked international, and was gone 50% of time when home). We love to travel seperately and together, and allow each the chance to do so. (frequently). Eldercare and different interests and priorities avail this. We often meet at favorite destinations. One of us really likes to camp, one of us doesn't ... So we do both, together and seperate. It works out really great. Airfare is so cheap, we can drive together to a distant place, and one of us might fly home or elsewhere for a few weeks or months. We often travel internationally solo or with friends. Each reunion is a honeymoon as we share what we each discovered. We each get access to our 25mpg RV, and love to GO together, with siblings, friends or solo. It fits in a std parking space, so you can 'stealthcamp' anywhere (like National Park lodge parking lots, hospitals, churches, funeral homes, and airports. Or Freecampgrounds.com)

8). You are not alone or strange (any more than the rest of us!). Do your self, your health, and your spouse and friends a huge favor. Purpose to work through this! You may not need drugs (but you may,). Get busy and see what that miraculous body and mind of yours can do to step through this.

You have taken a very important, valuable, and heroic first step. Keep up the momentum
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Old 03-30-2016, 07:20 AM
 
365 posts, read 306,689 times
Reputation: 443
Do you know what triggers your anxiety? That's probably the first step to solving your problem. People experience anxiety for different reasons.

I do know of a person that experienced anxiety at work when she had to speak/present in front of large groups. She went to her doctor and was prescribed a beta-blocker for her anxiety. She claims it work's well to relieve anxiety.
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